45-70 Caliber for Moose Hunting

by Steve

45-70 Marlin Lever Action used for moose hunting

45-70 Marlin Lever Action used for moose hunting

I bought a 45-70 caliber recently, to get back into deer hunting. A bit of overkill, but I will be in Northern Maine (above Caribou) where I grew up, and the opportunity for Moose is there, thus the higher caliber choice.

Apparently the "Doe" population is getting a bit thin up there these days (I haven't been back in a few years), and unless I want a Buck (tougher meat), I've been encouraged to go after a Moose.

I have no experience with Moose hunting, so I'll ask.........will "one shot" take em down? They are pretty strong and bull-headed. I want a "clean kill" to harvest the meat.

How can I best be assured that clean kill without incident?

Thanks for the question about using a 45-70 caliber rifle for moose hunting Steve.

I actually have a couple of friends who use the 45-70 rifle for moose, and for them the caliber has worked very well.

The .45 caliber rifle is a big bore and shoots BIG bullets! The rifle is great at shorter distances and certainly has enough energy to take down moose.

Pretty much any rifle can take down a moose with one shot; if the bullet is well placed.

You may want to refer to our other webpage shot placement for moose.

I always encourage hunters (novices or seasoned) to avoid taking marginal shots. If you take your time and are patient the chance for a (ideal) broadside shot through the vitals will materialize and you'll be successful.

The 45-70 has more than enough energy to take a moose. You'll be quite happy with it too.

Please don't try long range shots with it unless you know exactly how much bullet drop there is. Also because of the larger bullet diameter the energy level will drop rapidly at long ranges.

According to ballistic calculators the 300 grain bullet with a zero at 100 yards will have already dropped 13 inches at 200 yards and a whopping 28 at 250 yards. With the following energy levels:
muzzle - 2182
100 yards - 1492
200 yards - 1031

Bottom Line: Use your 45-70 for moose hunting and keep it for short ranges. Shoot your moose through the vitals and rest assured it will go down with one shot.

All the best,

"The Moose Man"

Comments for 45-70 Caliber for Moose Hunting

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45-70 in Alaska
by: SoapySmith

I have used my Marlin Guide Gun and now Trapper 45-70 for moose hunting under 200 yards. I have a Leupold 1.5x5 VX3 scope on it with Warne QD Lever Rings and Maxima Steel Bases. I replaced the Marlin Trigger with a Wild West Happy Trigger. I replaced the side safety with a Beartooth Delete.
I hand load using Reloader 7 and Speer 350gr FN. Great bullet for moose with good weight retention and accuracy. It’s a real thumper on moose and Bear. I like carry it also on Salmon fishing trips and camping with family at the lake and protection from bears while berry picking with my wife.

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